Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Guitar Repair & Building

Learn the art of lutherie in our guitar programs.


The Guitar Repair & Building program at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing draws students of all ages and backgrounds from all over the world.

Located on MSC Southeast's Red Wing campus, the Guitar Repair & Building program prepares students for a career in lutherie. Experience hands-on learning as you progress from basic repairs to the step-by-step process of building an acoustic guitar!

Beginning with the correct use of power and hand tools, our students gain a thorough understanding of woods, adhesives, history, and materials related to fretted instruments. You will practice a variety of common repairs and learn acoustic and electric guitar set-up, fretwork, finishing, and how to perform neck resets.

No previous woodworking experience or musical ability is required, but successful students are detail-oriented, highly motivated, and have the ability to sit at a workbench and stay focused on their work all day.

  • First year guitar students build a flat-top steel string guitar in Guitar Repair & Building and also have the option to build an electric guitar.
  • Second year students can choose to build a mandolin or archtop guitar and will also design and build their own acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or mandolin as part of the Guitar Development & Production diploma.

Our graduates are in high demand, working with music stores, independent repair shops, and instrument manufacturers. For more information, visit redwingmusicrepair.org. To become a student, apply for admission to MSC Southeast.

Major Offerings

  • Electric Guitar Building (CERT) View Classes
    Red Wing - 18 cr
  • Guitar Development and Production (DIP) View Classes
    Red Wing - 39 cr
  • Guitar Repair and Building (DIP) View Classes
    Red Wing - 39 cr

Download the Program Plan


Instrument Close Ups

Learn more about the musical instrument repair programs on our Red Wing campus at RedWingMusicRepair.org.

Outcomes & Opportunities

Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:

  1. Diagnose, adjust, and repair, set ups, action, and intonation.
  2. Identify and understand parts and materials, and their use and characteristics.
  3. Safely and accurately use hand and power tools.
  4. Design and build a string instrument.
  5. Diagnose, estimate costs, and perform most guitar repairs.
  6. Perform finishing processes and touch up.
  7. Use the math, communications, and computer skills needed in lutherie.

Guitar Repair & Building Job Placement: 78.6%

View placement information for all majors

Career Opportunities

  • Music Stores
  • Repair Shops
  • Guitar Makers
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Transfer Credits

Expand your opportunities. Learn how your credits can transfer to other colleges and universities.

College Articulated Transfer Agreements: Specific agreements between MSC Southeast and other institutions to accept transfer credits.
Minnesota Transfer: Transfer information provided by Minnesota State colleges and universities, Minnesota private colleges, and the University of Minnesota.
Transferology: A nationwide network to assist students in determining which courses will transfer.

Highlights & Instructors

Program Highlights

  • Unique in length and comprehensiveness in the United States
  • Additional career for musicians and teachers
  • No previous musical or woodworking experience necessary


  • David Vincent earned his certificate from the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery, and then worked as a repair technician for 6 years at E.M. Short’s Guitars and Wichita Violin Shop in Wichita, Kansas. He has taught at MSC Southeast since 1984. David has built more than 50 instruments and helped students build over 600 instruments. He has made the guitars that are the first place prize for the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship since 2009.

  • Brian Boedigheimer received his diploma in Guitar Repair and Construction from Red Wing Technical College (now MSC Southeast) in 1994. For 12 years he provided service for music stores throughout the St. Croix Valley. He also worked on designs and built electric guitars with the Benedict Guitar Company. In 2003 he attended the Wood Finishing Technology Program at Dakota County Technical College. Currently he teaches full-time in the Guitar Repair and Building Program and in his spare time he designs and builds his own line of instruments.

  • Steve Rossow earned diplomas from the Guitar Repair & Building and Violin Repair programs in at MSC Southeast 2002. He apprenticed with luthier John R. Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. Returning to MSC Southeast as a full time instructor in 2010, Steve has designed a curriculum for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and now teaches advanced acoustic guitar construction and computer-aided drafting in the Red Wing Guitar Repair and Building program.

© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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